Chargesheet in DRDO scientist case exposes honey trap, ISI involvement

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New Delhi, July 9: The chargesheet filed by Maharashtra Police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in a high-profile case involving a DRDO scientist discloses stunning details of a honey trap operation that resulted in critical material being leaked.

Details of a honey trap operation that exposed sensitive material pertaining to missile systems and other defence programs are revealed in the chargesheet. Pradeep Kurulkar, a DRDO scientist, was detained on May 3 under the Official Secrets Act and is presently in judicial detention.

According to the charge sheet, Kurulkar and Pakistani Intelligence Operative ‘Zara Dasgupta’ spoke over WhatsApp as well as audio and video chats.

‘Dasgupta’ pretended to be a software engineer from the United Kingdom and befriended him by sending filthy messages and videos. Her IP address was tracked to Pakistan throughout the inquiry, according to the charging document.

According to the chargesheet, a woman went by the identities Zara Das and Juhi. The operator, who was thought to be stationed in the United Kingdom and had a 44 country code, leveraged the DRDO scientist’s yearning for romantic connections to get vital information from him.

According to the investigation, the scientist freely discussed sensitive matters with the woman, including the Rafael and Aakash missile systems. He is also accused of providing comprehensive structural information about the missile systems, as well as intelligence about other defence initiatives.

The woman, who addressed Kurulkar as “Babe,” was also able to learn about the DRDO’s Robotic programme throughout their discussions. According to the chargesheet, their contact took place mostly between September 2022 and February 2023.

According to authorities, the woman also gave him email IDs and passwords to upload the details and instructed him to download malware-infected applications, which utilise all data from the downloaded phones and associated emails.

As the inquiry advanced, it was determined that the scientist’s actions were being monitored from Islamabad, Pakistan, implying the participation of the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI.